Monday, July 7, 2008

Encephalon #49 Celebrates Independence! (from Lamarckism)

The first week in July is a time of great significance—one that reminds us of change, revolution, and how an age-old view of the world can be drastically altered by the persistent belief in one's own novel ideas. This, of course, is because July 1st marks the anniversary of the presentation of Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace's independently-developed theories of evolution and natural selection to the Linnean Society of London. The reading represented the first public explanation of the theory, which would eventually come to be the foundation upon which the world of science rests. Last week's anniversary is a special one, marking the 150th year since the publication. So, as you peruse Encephalon's round-up of the latest and greatest neuroscience blogging, remember that all roads in science today lead back to July 1st, 1858, at the Linnean Society.

Darwin developed his theory without the luxury of knowing anything about genes. Brain Stimulant skeptically discusses the use of gene therapy in psychiatry. Just the ability to have the conversation, however, is representative of how far our understanding of genetics has come in 150 years.

Mind Hacks questions whether our rapidly improved methods of imaging the brain are resulting in sensationalized reporting on experimental results.

Cognitive Daily describes what makes voices more or less attractive.

Neurophilosophy provides an intriguing look at the brain's ability to reorganize itself after a cerebrovascular accident. It appears that cells in the brain are much more versatile than once thought.

Neuroanthropology looks at the relationship between music and movement, and how it is manifested in the drumming that accompanies Sundanese martial arts demonstrations, as well as gives us a rational perspective on the debate over the biological origins of homosexuality, and a good reason to relax.

Sharp Brains discusses how physical exercise and mental exercise compare in improving the health of your brain. An interview with Dr. Art Kramer from the University of Illinois provides a way to engage in both forms of exercise at the same time: walking book clubs! And, tests to determine "brain age" are called into question.

The Winding Path provides an in-depth description of the co-evolution of the brain and culture, and then focuses specifically on the evolution of complex social interaction.

Brain Blogger asks if religion has neural or supernatural roots, and looks at the ramifications of implanting microchips containing medical information in patients.

Finally, The Neurocritic takes Science to task for not practicing what it preaches about fMRI translation. He also summarizes a unique review article that uses Dilbert cartoons to help explain the neural correlates of prediction error signals.

Be sure to check out the next edition of Encephalon at Sharp Brains on July 21st. Send your submissions to encephalon{dot}host{at}gmail{dot}com.


AlvaroF said...

Marc, a very nice edition! beautiful lead, and great write-up. Thank you!

christo said...

Alfred Russell Wallace should be Alfred Russel Wallace (one ell).

Anonymous said...

"all roads in science today lead back to July 1st, 1858, at the Linnean Society"???

I don't think a cosmologist or particle physicist would agree with that.

Gabrielle said...

I'm inclined to think that science began when someone eons ago descovered that they could make there own light and heat useing fire.

The Journey said...

Good list of all blogs on neuroscience.Very helpful.Thank you